The Sunday Session welcomes Laura Lecourt!
I meet Laura at Clouds Gallery on the Prinsengracht. She has vibrant red curly hair and is originally from Agen, a town near Toulouse. Yet her ancestry is quite varied. Her maternal grandfather was from Sicily, her other grandfather from Normandy and one grandmother from Spain. Her parents were both born in Morocco. At the tender age of fourteen Laura started fashion modelling in Agen. Her childhood dreams had been to be a model and singer. So one of her dreams had been satisfied. Laura would sing as she walked around the street. Passers-by would comment on her voice and ask where they could see her perform….
She tells me that she moved to Paris to further her career in modelling in the late 80’s working mainly in fashion shows, on the catwalk. In 88’ she met a Dutchman and moved to Amsterdam.
‘Exciting!’ I say.
Amsterdam, as Laura describes, is a very creative and unique city, with tolerant and respectful people. Her friend began her own record label. Laura took singing lessons and brushed shoulders with Soul, House and Jazz artists and remembers meeting Bootsy Collins, George Clinton and Jocelyn Brown.
As Laura tells me this, the heavens open and sheets of rain pour down outside. “There must be a rainbow somewhere!” Laura exclaims.
Eventually Laura separated from her Dutch boyfriend and went to India for a while.
We begin talking about how we go about life. Laura says she is quite happy by herself, wandering around in her spare time. Although when she was younger it wasn’t so. She couldn’t bear to be alone. I too used to plan my days to be as full as possible, maybe so I didn’t have to face myself and reflect.
Laura lives with her partner round the corner from here, in a beautiful re-furbished apartment. They have a ten year old son together. Her son has a good sense of colour and she is keen to encourage him to paint. She tells him that you don’t necessarily have to draw, to be able to paint. Colours can be used together to evoke a sense of light and emotion.
Laura is almost fifty and seems to have achieved a real balance in her life. She points out the awareness she has of the material world and the spiritual world. She underlines the importance of learning the lessons of life to be able to grow. She tells her son that the most important thing is to have a good heart and not to think you are better than the next person. And that if you have a good open heart, then doors will open for you.
A few weeks ago Laura’s son asked her: “Who do you love the most. Me or you?”
Laura replied: “Well, of course I love you. But I first have to love myself, before I can love you.”
Laura continues. By helping each other, we gain perspective and in turn help ourselves.
We speak again about The Netherlands. As we are both expats we have this in common. The Dutch are known for not having curtains or if they do, then they are invariably open; many houses having beautiful bookshelves full of books. The books looked great on the walls, forming a piece of furniture in themselves. So when she settled in Amsterdam Laura bought many books. She then tells me that she and her son are both dyslexic, and the buying and displaying of books in this way helped her to reconcile by the aesthetic point of view, the object for which she had been blocked since childhood.
So reading is a challenge. But this didn’t stop her buying factual books and others about health, natural medicine and raw cuisine. Laura tells me that she hasn’t read so many of these books, but they serve as a record to what her interests were at the time she bought them. Now slowly, slowly, she picks one up and consumes it in her own time.
We arrive at the subject of Sundays. Most of my subjects have chosen areas like parks, cafés and neighbourhoods. Laura is clear that she really loves to be home in her garden, which provides an oasis of light and life. She enjoys pottery and ceramics. She offers to take me around her apartment to show me her favourite pieces of work. Lately Laura has had singing lessons with Ronny Gee; singer.composer, producer.
The ceramic work in the lead image is created by Laura Lecourt.